History of American Thoroughbred, Daily Racing Form, 1922-12-08


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History of American Tkoroughbred Ninettenth Installment. The only one on the ground preferable to their own was Mr. McCargos Archer, a capital rider -with a good seat, a steady hand and a cool head. Mrs. McCargo having no Interest -whatever in the race, at once placed Archers services at the disposal of Grey Eagles friends. As his doing so might possibly place him in a position of great delicacy and embarrassment, at his own request they relieved him from it and concluded to put up Stephen "Welch again, whose only fault was that there was not enough of him. INTEREST IN SECOND MATCn. After the race on Monday the topic of conversation in every circle was the prospect of a second race between the rival champions. The "Wagner party were not anxious for a race, but they would not avoid one. Their liorse had not only realized their expectations, but had exceeded their most sanguine "hopes, and they were prepared to back him to "the size of their pile." And well did that noble son of a worthy sire justify the high opinion of his friends. The friends of Grey Eagle had every reason to be proud of the first performance of their horse,and they were so. If any of his friends backed him with less confidence now it was on account of the severe race he. had made five days previous. He was in fine health and his look and action indicated all the spirit and courage of a gamecock, but it wars thought physically impossible for him to r-r-ke such another race as his first in the same week. The betting consequently settled down at two and three to one on Wagner. It will naturally be supposed that the ru-iror of a second four-mile race between these two cracks attracted an immense crowd of spectators. Many persons came down from Cincinnati, while the citizens of Lexington, Frankfort, Georgetown and the circle of towns for fifty miles about Louisville turned out in great numbers. Again the city was crowded and on the morning of the race every carriage arid horse in town was in requisition. Many were glad to go out to the course and call it "riding," when jolting along on a bone-setter compared to which riding on a white-oak rail would be fun. The jockeys, having received their instructions from the judges, mounted. Cato on Wagner and Stephen Welch on Grey Eagle. The third entry was Messrs. Viley and Wards Emily Johnson, own sister to Singleton and half-sister to Mistletoe a four-year-old bay filly, by Bertrand Black-Eyed Susan. She was not in prime fit and could not therefore live in such a crowd. At the word "Go," Wagner went off with the lead at about three-parts speed, Emily lying second, and all three under a strong pull. Grey Eagles long, steady stride, after reaching the straight work down the backstretch, soon brought him up with the field. Opposite the Oakland house, about 300 yards beyond the half-mile post, the three were lapped. The pace now improved. Grey Eagle drew out at the last turn, but Wagner, having the inside and beginning to warm up, made sharp running up the stretch to the stand and, on the next turn, came out clear in front GREY EAGLE MOTES UP. Down the backstretcli they each kept up a good racing stroke, but at the Oakland house Grey Eagle increased his stride and locked Wagner. As neither was yet called upon a fair view was had of their relative rate of going. Grey Eagle led down to the head of the stretch and up to the stand by half a length and immediately after came in front. He carried on the running two lengths in advance to near the termination of the mile, when Wagner received a hint to extend himself. Without lapping him Wagner waited upon him close up and opposite to the Oak-lad house made his run. The rally that ensued was a brilliant one, but Grey Eagle out-footed him in one hundred yards and drew clear amidst tremendous cheers from all parts of the course. The instant Wagner declined Emily Johnson took his place, lapping the gray as they swung round the turn. But Wagner had yet another run left They had no sooner reached the quarter stretch than Cato set to work with him. Grey Eagle had been able to pull to Emily Johnson and accordingly, when Wagner by an extraordinary effort reached him halfway up the stretch, he was able to outfoot him a second time and come away home a gallant winner by nearly a length, Emily Johnson having second place, amidst the waving of hats and handkerchiefs and tumultuous cheers that would easily have drowned the roar of Niagara. .The first mile was run in 2 :03, the second in 1 :55, the third in 1 :5G and the fourth in 1 :55, making the time of the heat 7 :51. Tho heartfelt gratification and rapture exhibited at the close of the heat by the assembled thousands knew no bounds. Kentuckys most distinguished sons and her loveliest daughters felt alike interested and Grey Eagles success was enjoyed as if each were personally concerned. The odds, from being two and three to one in favor of Wagner, now changed and Grey Eagle had the call at four to three. Considerable sums were staked. In the first heat, for the first time. Grey Eagle had been properly managed. Instead of running the whole last half he had taken advantage of the ground and made his first run down the descent from the Oakland house to the head of the stretch and then, being braced up for three hundred yards, which allowed him time to recover, he was able to come again and make a second rally, as brilliant as the first. Both horses perspired freely and, in much less time than could be expected, they cooled out finely. Neither hung out a signal of distress, but came up for the second heat with distended nostrils and eyes of fire, betokening the most unflinching courage. At the tap of the drum the horses were hardly in motion when Cato drew his whip on Wagner the first jump. The race was little better than a hand gallop for the first half mile, but as Wagner led past the entrance gate Gooding bade him "go along," and he incrascd his rate. Stephen, seeing this, let the gray out a link and, in going down the descending ground below the Oakland house, went up on the inside so suddenly that he had locked Wagner before Cato was aware of his close proximity. The run up the quarter stretch was a pretty fast thing, though nci-thr r was doing his best. The time of the mile was 2:0S. The crowd cheered them as they ran, lapped, passed the stand, at which Grey Eagle pricked up his ears and set to w-orkl ! in earnest, shaking off Wagner at the next turn. The race had now commenced. Stephen braced his horse as well as he was able and kept him up to his rate down the entire length of the backstretch. At the Oakland house Cato again called on Wagner and steel and catgut came into play. The gallant gray led clear to the turn and halfway up the stretch, Stephen, beginning to use his whip hand and to give the nonpareil an occassional eye opener with the spur. This mile was run in 1:52. NECK AND NECK AT STAND. They passed the stand neck and neck, Emily Johnson being already nearly out of her distance. From the stand to the first turn the ground is descending and here almost invariably Grey Eagle gained upon Wagner, which kept up one steady stride from end to end, without flinching or faltering and able always to do a little more when persuaded by the cold steel with which Cato plied him ever and anon throughout the heat We said they passed the stand on the second mile neck and neck. When they reached the turn Grey Eagle was in front, but no sooner hatl they come to straight work on the back side than Wagner made a most determined challenge and locked him. The contest- was splendid and was maintained with unflinching gameness and spirit At the end of 700 yards, however, Grey Eagle had the better of it; in spite of Catos most desperate efforts Wagner could only reach Stephens knee. Grey Eagle seemed able, after a brush of one hundred yards, to come again with renewed vigor, if well braced, for a dozen strides. Down the descent on the last half mile Grey Eagle maintained his advantage but, on ascending toward the stand, Wagners strength told and they came through under whip and spur, Wagner having his head and neck in front. The time for this mile was 1:55. Stephen was here instructed to take a strong pull on his horse and to "keep him moving," while "ram spurs into him" were the orders to Cato. The result was that Wagner came in front and the pace down the backstretch was tremendous, both leing kept at their rate by the most terrible punishment. Unfortunately Stephen was directed to "take the track" about opposite the Oakland house instead of putting the issue on a brush up the last 200 yards of the heat Too soon the gallant gray was called upon, but true as steel the noble animal responded to it With the most dauntless courage he made his run down the descending ground and though Wagner, like the bravest of the brave, as he was, made the most desperate efforts, Grey Eagle came round the last turn on the outside with his head and shoulders in front, at a flight of speed we never saw equaled. Both jockeys were nearly faint with their exertions, and Stephen, poor fellow, lost his presence of mind. Up to the distance stand it was impossible to say which was ahead. Whips and spurs had been in constant requisition the entire mile, but at this moment Stephen gave up his pull and unconsciously yawed his horse across the track, which broke him off his stride. Cato, holding Wagner well together and mercilessly dashing in his spurs, at length brought him through a gallant winner by a neck, having run the last mile in 1 : 18 and the heat in 7 :43. This was, without question, the gamest and most spirited race we have ever witnessed. The heat was Wagners and while we accorded to him all the reputation so brilliantly won after a bloody struggle of nearly three miles, we feel bound to express the belief that, for an untried four-year-old, Grey Eagles performance was without a parallel in the annals of the American turf of the day. The last three miles of a second heat, in a second four-mile race the same week, were run in 5 :35 and the eighth mile in 1 :48. The enthusiasm of the spectators was now excited to the highest pitch. There was not on the ground, probably, an individual who would not have been pleased to see the horses withdrawn and the purse divided between them, rather than further task the indomitable gameness and courage of these noble animals. But no such proposition was made and, after the usual respite, they were brought to the post for the third time. It would have been difficult to decide which had recovered best TOO IMPRESSED TO WAGER. So much feeling was manifested in reference to the horses that the baser impulses to bet on the result of the concluding heat were almost entirely disregarded. Odds, however, were offered in a few instances on Wagner. At the word "go" they broke off with a racing stride, Wagner taking the lead by about two lengths. The pace was moderate, for Stephen, on Grey Eagle, was expressly charged to pull him steady and wait for orders. Wagner accordingly led with an easy stroke through the first mile and, being cheered as he passed, he widened the gap soon after to four or five lengths. At the half-mile post Grey Eagle made play and had nearly closed the gap as they came opposite the Oakland house, when he suddenly faltered as if shot and, after limping a step or two, abruptly stopped. "Grey Eagle has let down !" was the coon all hands an"d when the spectators became aware of the truth of the painful announcement the tearful eyes of a radiant host of Kentuckys daughters and the heartfelt sorrow depicted in the heartfelt countenance of her sons, indicated the sincerity of the sympathy with which they regartlod the untimely accident to their game and gallant champion. It was supposed, on hasty examination, that Grey Eagle had given away in the back sinews of his left foreleg, but it was finally ascertained that the injury was in the coffin joint Mr. Burbridge, on the instant tightly bandaged the leg with a stout strip of dry canvas which, being kept wet would have prevented the horse from coming down on his pastern joints, even had his leaders given away. A fortnight after the race, the horse promised to recover perfectly. Mr. Shotwell informed us that the ankle and the joint were a little swollen, but that neither the horses pastern nor cannon bones were affected and his leaders were as sound as ever. Soon after Grey Eagle was stopped, Cato pulled Wagner out of his stride and cantered him slowly around. The intelligence of the high-spirited racer was clearly indicated by Wagners subsequent action. From the head of the stretch home he invariably went at a racing pace and appeared as if he did not know what was required of him, frequently bursting off in spite of his rider. On the fourth mile as ho passed his own stable, the rubbers and riders standing on Is roof gave him a hearty cheer and the gallant horse broke off, in spite of Catos utmost exertions, and ran at the top of his speed for nearly 500 yards, as if plied with steel and whalebone the whole way! We lever saw a more magnificient exhibition of unflinching gameness. Even the friends of 3rey Eagle forgot their distress for a minute in doing justice by a cheer to the gallant and victorious champion of Louisiana. The event of this race is one of the things which lead me to deprecate the extremity to which four-mile heat racing is carried in America. That such races test to the utmost the pluck, the endurance and the powers jf the blood horse is granted. That they must kill, at last, is certain. The question is this: Cannot a horses sameness, his endurance and his speed be tested short of destroying his physical ability 3ver to prove them more? There must be a limit even to the wear of a machine. I do think that such exhibitions as the twenty-mile race, from the effects of which one mare died and probably not one fully recovered is Wagners and Grey Eagles two four-mile races within five days, and other similar performances are to be honored in the avoidance, not the imitation. Boston was bred by John Wickham of Richmond, Va., the then eminent jurisconsult and was foaled in Henrico County in 1S33. He was sired by the celebrated Timoleon. His dam was an own sister to Tuckahoe, also bred by Mr. Wickham, by Balls Florizel, her dam by imported Alderman, the latter foaled by a mare by imported Clockfast Boston was sold by Mr. Wickham in his two-year-old form to Nathaniel Rives of Richmond, Va., for 00. He was trained in 1836-37 by Capt. John Belcher, who had charge of one "cavalry corps" from Colonel Johnsons stable, while Arthur Taylor had another. Cornelius, a colored lad, was Bostons jockey up to April 27, 1839. Ever since the spring campaign in 1S3S Boston was trained by Arthur Taylor and ridden by Gil I Patrick. ! In May, 1S39, after the first heat of his race against Decatur and Vashti, Boston was sold to James Long of Washington, D. C, for 2,000 and half of the purse. At last accounts he was owned by L. and Colonel William R. Johnson of Petersburg, "Va. Boston was a chestnut, with white stockings on both hind feet and a white stripe down the face. In other respects than color and marks, Boston closely resembled the early British phenomenon Harkaway. They had alike prodigious depth of chest and immensely powerful loins, thighs and hocks. Boston was a trifle only above fifteen and a half hands high, under the standard, but to the eye seemed taller, owing to his immense substance. He was a short-limbed horse, with a barrel rather flat, or "slab-sided" than round, and well-ribbed home. He was a prodigy of strength. Ten pounds extra weight would hardly affect his performance a jot. Though he occasionally siuked, Boston ran on his courage and was never ridden with spurs. He was no beauty. His head and nack were unsightly, while his ribs were ragged, rendering him a "rumiun to look at." That he was "a good mf to go," however, we imagine will be generally conceded after reading the annexed recapJtulation: BOSTONS PERFORMANCES. 1836. April 20 Broad Rock, Va. Sweepstakes. Mile beats; lost. Boston bolted in the first heat when running ahead. Oct. 12 Petersburg, Va. Purse. Two-mile heats; won $ 300 Boating N. Piddle. Mary Archie, Juliana, John Floyd and chestnut filly by Henry. Nor. 3 IlfineTer C. II.. Va. Purse. Three-mile heats; won 400 Beating Betsey Mingc, Upton Heath, Nick Biddlc, Alp. Bayard and a Gobsnna filly. 1837. May 4 Washington City. Parse. Three-mile heats; won $ 500 Beating Norwood, Mary Seldcn, Meteor and Lydia. Oct. 5 Washington City. Purse. Three-mile heats; won 500 Beating Prince George, Stockton, Mary Selden, Virginia Graves, Caroline Snow-don and Leesburg. Time, 5:50, 5:52. Oct. 19 Baltimore, Md. Purse. Three-mile heats; won 500 Beating Casmidel, Clippus and Bed Rat. Time, 5:51, G:OS. Oct. 2G Camden, N. J. Purse. Three-mile heats; won 500 Beating Betsey. Andrew and Tipton. Time, 5:51, 0:02. 1838. May 3 Union Course, L. I. Purse. Three-mile heats; won $ 500 Boston walked oyer. May IS Beacon Course, N. J. Puree. Four-mile heats; won 1,000 Beating Dosoris without extending himself. May 25 Camden, N. J. Purse. Four-mile heats; won 1,000 Beating Decatur, which bad just distanced Fanny Wyatt in a match for 0,000 in 7:45 in Washington. June 1 Union Course, Ii. I. Puree. Four-mile heats; won 1,000 Beating Charles Carter, which broke down, in 7:40. Boston ran the first three miles in 5:36. June S Beacon Course, N. J. Purse. Four-mile heats; won 1,000 Beating Duane, which won the first beat in 7:52. Boston sulked. Oct. 5 Petersburg, Va. Purs. Four -mile beats; won 700 Beating Polly Green in a canter. Oct. 13 Baltimore, Md. Purse. Four-mile heats; won 700 Beating Bailie Peyton, which had won a heat from Duane in 7:42. Oct. 19 Baltimore, Mci. Purse. Fotir-mile heats; rec , B00 Boston was paid 00 out of the puree not to start. Oct. 27 Camden, N. J. Purse. Four-mile heats; rec COO Boston was paid 00 out of the purse not to start. Not. 2 Union Course, L. I. Purse. Four-mile heats; won 1,000 Beating Decatur with ease In 8:00, 7:57. Nor. 9 Beacon Course. N. J. Purse. Four-mile heats; won 1,000 Beating Decatur. This year Boston won nine Jockey Club purses and received ,000 more for not starting. To Be Continued.

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Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800